Date: 15th January 2003

Hugh's phantom role

He Took the Peter Allen part away from Todd McKenney, and now Hugh Jackman could well steal the Phantom of the Opera from the man who made the role his own, Michael Crawford.
Jackman is being considered for the lead in the film version of Phantom, now that its creator, Andrew Lloyd Webber, has forked out several million to buy back the rights from Warner Brothers.

The film studio acquired the rights 15 years ago, when Crawford would have been a dead cert to take the title role.

But Lloyd Webber has made it clear Crawford, 61, is way too old.

"The Phantom's got to be 40-ish; he can't be much older than that," the composer says.

"Michael won't be doing it now. In any case, it's up to the director and we won't know who that will be for a while."

Apart from Jackman, names being considered are Antonio Banderas and occasional Qantas pilot Captain Disco (aka John Travolta).

Jackman is now preparing for his role as Tenterfield-born Peter Allen in the Broadway version of The Boy From Oz the production for which Coogee resident McKenney is best remembered.

The Daily Telegraph

Source: Press Release